Overtone Slider & Other Teaching Material

The Overtone Slider

A handy scheme for singing teachers, music teachers and composers.

The overtone slider is a handy scheme that displays precisely where the overtones are located in singing. The basic sheet with the piano shows the entire range of musically used tones. It indicates the ranges of the voice registers, the vocal formants and the double formants (for overtone singing).

The scheme is used together with the harmonic series. You immediately see which overtones are produced by the respective fundamental, how they interact with the formants in normal singing or speech, and which of them can be used for overtone singing. Composers can identify which singing tones can be used to produce certain overtones.

With the help of the scheme, the complete dependence of our resonance system (vocal tract) on the location of the overtones can be understood.

Tip: Do not adjust the margins when printing! This is because the overtone series must be printed in the same scaleg so that it fits exactly on the overtone slider.

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

The Harmonic Series

Matching the overtone slider

The harmonic series has always the same interval sequence, independent of the fundamental. The scheme displays the intervals as lines that exactly match the overtone slider. The octaves are marked in red for easier orientation. Both the intervals to the fundamental and the intervals between the overtones are shown.

Tip: When printing, do not adjust the margins so that the scale fits on the overtone slide.

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Overtone Singing Range

This scheme displays the overtones of all singing tones simultaneously. This illustrates the basic principle of how overtones behave. The interaction with the double formants of the overtone singing are highlighted in colour. This scheme is focused on overtone singing.

I will soon publish a highly extended and interactive version of this scheme under the headline “vocal phonetics”.

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Notes of All Singable Overtones

All singable overtones from bass G2 to soprano C5 – for composers.

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Note on the license: These teaching materials may be used free of charge and copied as desired, also commercially. You may use them e.g. for your lessons, offer them on your website, reproduce them in books and even sell them. The conditions of the Creative Commons licenses have to be followed. They give you legal security for the free use of creative content. Therefore the correct reference “cc-by-sa Wolfgang Saus www.oberton.org” is required. Failure to cite the source is a violation of copyright and can result in injunctive relief and claims for damages.

My ideal for the future is the unconditional giveaway culture, but as long as we have to pay for food, I think it is fair enough to give free of charge when the source is mentioned. Please never use without citing the source!